'LIFE REVIEW' REPORTED IN NEAR-DEATHS AND EXPERIENCES OF BLESSED SACRAMENT
[from After Life by Michael Brown]
At Medjugorje there was the account of a young Italian man who while praying before the Blessed Sacrament suddenly began to see the "film" of his life with great precision. According to one report, "Events re-emerged from his childhood and distant past, including completely forgotten scenes. From his more recent past, he saw things he had never considered in that way. It was as if he was reviewing all his life the way God Himself sees it. The Holy Spirit thus revealed to him the true meaning of his life and how much he was loved and cherished by God from the very beginning, even though he was not aware of it."
Events were replayed to show how even the bad was often employed by the Lord to create good results.
"God used the evil there had been in my life to bring me to Him, and I was amazed to see in what a marvelous way He had succeeded in leading me through evil as well as through good," this man told a nun. "I understood that in life, only love counts."
This is also reported with those who have near-death experiences. They have a review of their entire lives. Those who report such encounters emphasize that it was not done to make them feel bad but rather to understand where their spirits stood in the eyes of God.
We realize in death, said Pope Gregory, how the "big" things in life are really not so big.
"He who is rapt in God can see without difficulty everything that is below God," he said in commenting on one manís death experience. "Therefore in that light that was shining before his exterior eyes, there was an inner light in his mind, which lifted his spirit to the heights and showed him how paltry were the things below."
The experience of reviewing a life can be like flipping through a series of slides with incredible speed. "I saw my whole past life take place in many images, as though on a stage at some distance from me," said Swiss researcher Albert Heim, who himself had a brush with death.
A woman from Idaho recounted how in a flash she relived every thought and every word she ever spoke, as well as the effects of those words and deeds on everyone and everything around her.
Itís as much a light of insight as a light of judgment. Thereís no harshness but simply an illumination that in a way allows the person to see where he had shortcomings and to judge himself.
More than a movie, itís a reliving.
But the judgment is firm.
During a visit to Louisiana I met a devout Catholic woman named Sondra Abrahams from Sulphur who said she "died" in 1970 after undergoing a hysterectomy.
"They gave me an anti-nausea drug that was brand new on the market," Sondra told me. "They gave me the medicine the day I was leaving to go home after the surgery. I felt odd that morning and the nurse thought it was just nervousness over going home because I had three very small children. My husband brought me homeómy mother-in-law was there with the children. After he left and went back to work I went into the bedroom and started feeling funny in my throat and in my face. It felt like I was being paralyzed. My face was drawing back and I had no control over my mouth. My jaw was like locked together. And I told my mother-in-law to call my husband Kenneth immediately. I said, ĎI think Iím having a stroke.í
"He rushed home and when he got home he took one look at me. Well, by then I was in great difficulty. I couldnít breathe and I could hardly talk. My throat was closing. He called the doctor and the doctor said to get me to the emergency room. I was having a reaction to the drug. We had a wild ride to the emergency room, and when we got there my husband carried me in. I can remember the table and even the direction it was facing, the doctor and on the other side the nurse. I can remember looking up at him. I was trying to breathe and trying to talk and I couldnít do either.
"And then he hit me in the chest. I guess I had gone into heart arrest and I remember looking down and seeing him hitting me on the chest. Itís like Iím looking down at my own body. It was amazing. Iím looking down at him working on my body and hearing things that he was saying and seeing him throwing things and I remember thinking, ĎThatís me. Thatís me there.í
"And then all of a sudden I felt a pull, like something pulling me. And I was, like, up at the ceiling looking down and I was going through this dark tunnel. On each side of me there were little sparkly lights, like tiny firebugs all around me, and I looked up and remember seeing this light that was way down, this little bright light that, as I was getting to where I was going, was getting larger. I knewóI donít know how I knew, but I knewóI had to go to that light, that there was safety in the light. I went into the light and it was brilliant and the Light was Christ, and He looked just like He did when He ascended into Heaven. He wore the white tunic and He had His hands up. I saw the wounds. He just embraced meóand the love! I have never known that kind of love. I thought I knew what love was. Being a mother I love my children and grandchildren so much, but the love of Christ is so consuming, itís just unbelievable, beautiful. He spoke to me but it wasnít words. I could hear Him but I didnít see His lips moving. He was thinking from His mind to mine. He asked if I was satisfied with my life. I remember looking around. He pointed and whenever He did my whole life went from the time I was a little tiny child at the age of two on up to the birth of my three children and up to the present time. It was just like a movie, seeing my life. I could see everything I had ever done wrongóHe showed that to meóand everyone I could have helped and I didnít! And oh gosh, there were a lot of people I could have helped that I didnít. I felt His sorrow that I had turned my back on them."
On the other hand, when there have been good things -- when we have helped people, and loved them -- it is described as an incomparable joy...
[click here for Sondra's video]
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